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United Arab Emirates

UAE FLAGU.S.-United Arab Emirates Trade Facts

The UAE is a federation of seven emirates (Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al-Qaiwain, Fujairah, and Ras Al-Khaimah). The individual emirates founded the UAE in December 1971. Over the last 38 years, the UAE has developed into the second largest economy in the Arab world.

Despite possessing substantial petroleum reserves, the UAE has pursued free market, trade liberalizing policies to diversify its economy away from a dependence on fossil fuel. Rapid growth in the nonoil economy reduced oil's share of GDP from 60 percent in 1980 to 35.8 percent in nominal terms in 2007. The U.S. and UAE entered into a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) in 2004, which established a formal dialogue to promote increased trade and investment between the two countries.

United Arab Emirates is currently our 28th largest goods trading partner with $24.3 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2017. Goods exports totaled $20.0 billion; goods imports totaled $4.3 billion. The U.S. goods trade surplus with United Arab Emirates was $15.8 billion in 2017.

According to the Department of Commerce, U.S. exports of Goods to United Arab Emirates supported an estimated 104 thousand jobs in 2015 (latest data available).

Exports

  • United Arab Emirates was the United States' 18th largest goods export market in 2017.

  • U.S. goods exports to United Arab Emirates in 2017 were $20.0 billion, down 10.6% ($2.4 billion) from 2016 but up 85.6% from 2007.  U.S. exports to United Arab Emirates account for 1.3% of overall U.S. exports in 2017.

  • The top export categories (2-digit HS) in 2017 were: aircraft ($4.8 billion), electrical machinery ($2.7 billion), machinery ($2.3 billion), vehicles ($2.3 billion), and precious metal and stone (diamonds) ($1.8 billion).

  • U.S. total exports of agricultural products to United Arab Emirates totaled $1.1 billion in 2017. Leading domestic export categories include: tree nuts ($301 million), hay ($89 million), prepared food ($88 million), snack foods nesoi ($63 million), and beef & beef products ($62 million. 

Imports

  • United Arab Emirates was the United States' 51st largest supplier of goods imports in 2017.

  • U.S. goods imports from United Arab Emirates totaled $4.3 billion in 2017, up 26.6% ($898 million) from 2016, and up 219.2% from 2007.  

  • The top import categories (2-digit HS) in 2017 were: aluminum ($1.4 billion), special other (returns) ($895 million), mineral fuels ($754 million), precious metal and stone (diamonds) ($200 million), and iron and steel products ($159 million).

  • U.S. total imports of agricultural products from United Arab Emirates totaled $33 million in 2017. Leading categories include: snack foods ($5 million), essential oils ($5 million), processed fruit & vegetables ($5 million), tea, including herb ($4 million), and rice ($3 million).

Trade Balance

  • The U.S. goods trade surplus with United Arab Emirates was $15.8 billion in 2017, a 17.2% decrease ($3.3 billion) over 2016.

Investment

  • U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) in United Arab Emirates (stock) was $16.8 billion in 2017, a 23.7% increase from 2016. U.S. direct investment in United Arab Emirates is led by mining, wholesale trade, and manufacturing.

  • United Arab Emirates's FDI in the United States (stock) was $4.8 billion in 2017, up 51.4% from 2016. There is no information on the distribution of United Arab Emirates' FDI in the U.S.

  • Sales of services in United Arab Emirates by majority U.S.-owned affiliates were $8.6 billion in 2015 (latest data available), while sales of services in the United States by majority United Arab Emirates-owned firms were $2.3 billion.

NOTE: No services trade data with United Arab Emirates are available.